Most people think of tree climbing in Panama as something that happens in lowland rainforest. While it is true that the annual Rainforest Climbing Expedition spends most of its time in lowland areas, there are also sizeable areas of tropical rainforest and cloudforest that lie well above the lowland areas. One such area is on the Caribbean slope along the north coast near the entrance into the Panama Canal.
Following the normal winter session and the annual expedition on Isla Colon, I usually will take time to visit with Noel Rowe at his preserve on the Caribbean Slope near the town of Sabanitas, on Sierra Llorona. Noel and Abby are wonderful hosts and there is a whole lot of good climbing to be done on the property. This year there was another guest, Andrea Kayser, present and I was able to experience the fun of taking a newbie climber to the top of the forest. This is my chance to climb just for the fun of it and do some climbing that pushes the envelope beyond what usually happens on Isla Colon. The habitat is different, the trees are different, and the climbing is refreshingly different.
In the photos above, at the top shows a panorama from the top of a large Nisporo tree with the Panama Canal in the hazy distance. Below that, on the left, is Abby Barber, and to the right is Andrea. Below and to the left is my host, Noel Rowe. The climb was quite a challenge but was really worth the effort when we got high enough to experience the view across the tropical forest with the Caribbean and the Canal in the far distance.